Shelfari and LibraryThing: Awkward Bookends To AbeBooks-Amazon Deal


Earlier today we reported that Amazon had acquired AbeBooks, an online retailer of rare and used books from independent publishers.

AbeBooks held a major (although not majority) stake in a site called LibraryThing, where the literati can list their favorite books and discuss them. Coincidentally, Amazon has put a reported $1 million into Shelfari, one of LibraryThing’s direct competitors (which also include GoodReads, BookJetty and many others). So it might not be surprising to see Amazon try to join the forces of these two modestly sized startups.

But if the history between LibraryThing and Shelfari is any indication, we’re more likely to see Amazon either place its bets on one and divest its shares in the other, or simply maintain a minority investment in both.

Tim Spalding, the founder of LibraryThing, has publicly denounced Shelfari for using dirty marketing tactics such as astroturfing blogs and spamming inboxes

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